Once Upon a Time

Monday, 13 September 2010  |  Bullish Insights, Favorite Posts

Once upon a time, there was a young sedentary mother who completely fell in love with running. It allowed her access to worlds she never thought existed and gave her the ability to attain the once unimaginable. It changed her life so much that she wanted others to learn about it too.

So, she wrote…and she wrote…and she wrote.

And, family and friends were moved by her words.  Then, friends of friends were interested.  And, soon, strangers both near and distant were inspired, or even changed.

And, she was happy.

But, as time passed, somewhere along the journey, she lost her way. The tales she once shared about her adventures and experiences slowly diminished. Her words, sharing her raw and sincere emotions about the sport she loved, dwindled.  These were replaced by matter-of-fact articles on gear and gadgets and information on events and conferences. It was quite ironic that her words were lost in the whirlwind of opportunities that running offered her.

What once was a labor of love for her started to feel like labor alone.  And, she was no longer happy with writing. She felt bored, forced, and uninterested.  Worst of all, she was tired.  And, it showed in her work.

Her love for running, however, never faltered nor faded.  She continued to run, covering the roads on her own as she always wished.  After all, she never ran to be with others or to socialize, to gain acceptance or be admired, just as she never wrote to be popular or to collect freebies.  She started running because she loved the freedom it gave her to be herself.  And, she sorely wished she could be herself again in her writing.


Today, she returns to the blog with a new sense of direction.  As her running has never been this strong so is her determination to bring back the old and the good.  As she is more passionate about running than when she began four years ago, so will she give the same vigor and focus to her writing. Products, reviews, and race info will be present because they are and always will be a part of running.  But, heartfelt stories will prevail because these are wings for her feet on the road, just as they are for others.  It was never about what or who, it was always about the why.

Inspiration had to come from a well-meaning friend who provided advice so simple yet so significant only a few hours ago.  He said:


And, with that, the old Bull Runner was brought back to life.  With a new desire to write.  With more stories to be told, just the way they were shared not too long ago.

* thanks Raymund!

Camsur? Cam-sure!

Monday, 23 August 2010  |  Bullish Insights

The best thing about being bull headed is that I rarely ever give in to peer pressure. I try something new only because I want to, not because everyone else is doing it.

That explains why, early in my childhood, when my cousins would practice for weeks and finally dance to “Frosty the Snowman” in front of our entire clan during Christmas parties, I would sit back with my older siblings content to watch from the sidelines with a naughty grin. As early as 8, I thought to myself: “In no way will I make a fool of myself that way.” Stubborn. Unyielding. And yes, I was a little party pooper.

In college, even when more than half of my groupmates started smoking, I never picked up a cigarette. Never held one in my hand, never even puffed. If it didn’t make sense to me, then I wouldn’t even experiment on it. Yup, I was the boring, square one in the group.

The past couple of days, everyone was off to Camsur for the Ironman 70.3. And I thought: “Who cares if everyone is going?”  A number of runner friends who couldn’t bike nor swim like me registered for the relay event to be in on the action. My thrifty self rationalized that it wouldn’t be wise to spend so much money to run a half marathon when I could easily run a half in Manila for free.

So, over the weekend, hubby and I, along with friends JunC, Mariel and JunB, covered 22k along the empty roads of Manila, where one used to spot dozens of runners and triathletes training. On Sunday, hubby and I took the kids out for a bike and scooter ride in the South where, as expected, the roads were free of the hardcore teams training together.

Everyone was in Camsur!  And, it was one of those rare times when I wished I was doing what everyone else was doing (Tri-ing) where everyone else was (Camsur). I thought of friends who were probably as nervous as hell the night before and were having the time of their lives on race day. I thought about the boys of Team Hammer racing in their new trisuits for the first time together. I dreamed of one day doing the same.

Don’t get me wrong. This had little to do with peer pressure, and more of…uhm…E-N-V-Y. How I wished I could have the courage to swim 2k and bike 90k before the half marathon. How I wished I could’ve been there with a crop of average people—executives, parents, entrepreneurs, students—who were challenging their bodies (and minds) to accomplish extraordinary things.

Aaaah, the seed of the Ironman 70.3 dream has been planted in my mind. And, it’ll take a year or two for me to see if I can make it come true.  In the meantime, this regretful, stubborn, party pooper will enjoy viewing all the Camsur photos on Facebook.

Congratulations to all the finishers of Camsur Ironman 70.3, especially to Team Hammer!

H is for Hills…and Higad

Friday, 20 August 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Yesterday, my NYC Training Program required hill training of 11km. I wanted to run outdoors, but for the first time, I was apprehensive and anxious about it. The mere thought caused sweat to drip down my forehead even before I started to run.

You see, during my last run, I spotted three higads in different locations leisurely hanging from the Acacia trees lining the road. Twice I leapt to the side avoiding a nasty and not to mention itchy rash that would’ve been caused by those hairy creatures.

I also got a text from a friend, Michelline, who runs regularly on the same course. She has rashes all over her body, even inside her shirt, from those awful higads. Rumor is their coach, Patrick, now carries Caladryl in his bag as most of his students have higad rashes.

I may be The Bull Runner but urban higad legends like that scare the hell out of me. So, as I neared the intersection where I was to choose: road or treadmill at the gym, I questioned my driver hoping for some kind of reassurance:

Me: “Manong, madami kayang higad ngayon?”
Manong: “Meron maam. Pero, mahuhulog lang sila kapag nahanginan. Kung walang hangin, walang problema.”

I took a quick glance out the window and observed the stillness of the trees. I took a deep breath and pointed ahead.

Me: “Deretso tayo, Manong. Tatakbo ako sa kalsada.”

So help me God.

I ran on the road like a poor animal being hunted by a predator (only the predator in my case was much smaller than I was). All my senses were in full alert. My eyes were focused straight ahead, as it should be, mainly to watch out for higad. I ran as fast as I could hoping to finish 11km at the shortest possible time to minimize the risk of catching the rash.

Half the time the battle was all in the mind. I cannot count how many times I flicked off something away from my neck thinking it was a caterpillar only to realize it was the tail-end of my braid. I scratched my left arm, my right leg, my left leg, and my ears so many times that I wonder how I was even able to run. It didn’t help that it suddenly got windy. Manongs words kept on playing over and over in my head.

I covered 11k of challenging hills with a pace of 5:43 min/km. That’s close to race pace for me. Who would’ve known the higads could’ve helped me run that fast on a training run?! I was happy. But, what made me even more ecstatic after the run was the absence of any itching whatsoever. I survived! Take that, higads!

Save the Date: TBR Dream Marathon on 6 March 2011

Wednesday, 18 August 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Surprise surprise!  Due to the success of the first TBR Dream Marathon and the public clamor for a second event, we are happy to announce:




in partnership with


presented by


TBR Dream Marathon last May 22 was a huge success, but we’re bent on staging an even better event this year for TBR Dreamers Batch 2.  Brainstorming, meetings, and dreaming of our “Dream Race” are underway.  For now, these are the details we can reveal to have interested runners block off their calendars and mentally prepare for one of the most thrilling adventures of their lives:

Date: Sunday, March 6, 2011

Venue: NUVALI, Sta. Rosa, Laguna

Number of participants: 400 runners. As with TBR Dream Marathon 2010, priority will be given to first timer marathoners but 2nd timers will be allowed entry.  Details to be announced in September.

Registration: Target date – September 2010.  First come, first served.  Registration info will be announced ONLY through The Bull Runner (blog, facebook, twitter). Note: Last May, slots were filled in 3 days so stay tuned!

Registration Fee: To be announced.

Training Program: Target date – starts mid-October 2011 until race day.  All registrants will receive a 20-week TBR Dream Marathon training program developed by Coach Jim Lafferty.  Participants will also be prioritized during:

  • Bull Sessions: FREE running clinics starting October 2010 to February 2011
  • Bull Circles: FREE running talks starting October 2010 to February 2011

Beneficiary: HERO Foundation (stands for Help Educate and Rear Orphans). HERO foundation provides educational stipend support to children of soldiers who are killed-in-action or are permanently incapacitated in battle.   Original founders: late Pres. Corazon Aquino, former AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Renato de Villa, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala, and other concerned businessmen.  Click HERE to view website.

In the meantime, sit tight and think about it.  If you’re dreaming of a marathon, TBR Dream Marathon may be just the right one for you!  Here are some letters we received after TBR Dream Marathon last May:

I wanna say kudos for organizing such a FANTASTIC race. Even the term fantastic would be an understatement for the event that you just did. 🙂

The race was very very very organized….I cant say that enough. From the aid stations, the support crew, the logistics, everything! It was perfect. The first/second timers are really really lucky 🙂
I’ve done a lot of races like Singapore marathon, Ironman West Australia and I can say that this is almost up to par all of them from the organization, down to the execution. Honestly i think you may have set the bar too high though 🙂

– Carlos de Guzman, pacer

I did it!!!! WE did it!!!! Thank you so much, Jaymie. Really, words cannot express my deep gratitude for all you have done. That was the most amazing marathon a new runner could ever ask for.

– Marnie Hurst

Maraming maraming maraming salamat. I am one of the very lucky runners to have experienced the TBR Dream Marathon last May 22. It is a very special and priceless experience in my lifetime. I am sure this is the same with many if not all of the other participants. You are very much responsible for making our dream(s) come true.

– Macky de Lima

Last Saturday, I surpassed one of the greatest physical challenges known to man. I probably would have joined other full marathons but your event was different. It was well thought of, well planned, and well executed. I could never ask for a more personalized run than this. You inspire me to share the love and passion for running to other people.

– John Benedict P. Salvador

At first, I thought it was called the “Dream Marathon” because it was your dream to put up an event like this. I’ve since realized that it’s a marathon for those who dream they can accomplish more than what they’ve ever imagined or been told. There are no limits for those who dream. Thank you very much for inspiring us to chase our own dreams and make our own reality.

– Vic Rufino

* Please avoid posting or emailing inquiries about the race for now.  We will announce full details in due time.

** To read stories from Batch 1 of TBR Dream Marathoners, enter TBR DREAM MARATHON STORIES in the Search bar

Weekend for the Kids: Run to Read and U.P.

Monday, 16 August 2010  |  Bullish Insights

For the past weeks, hubby and I have been focused on training for NYC Marathon.  We run separately on weekdays due to our chaotic schedules and run together on weekends.  We usually run easy on Saturday mornings then join a race on Sundays. Both weekend mornings have been devoted to running.

Last week, after all the fun we had at Mommy Milkshake, I realized that the kids need a regular dose of outdoor activities on weekends, too.  Running—whether we are training for one of the exciting races in our lives or not—must never get in the way of family time.

I signed up the kids for Aqualogic Swim classes on Saturday afternoons (continuation of their summer lessons).  And, hubby and I agreed that, starting this week, we run on only one weekend, while the other day is for the kids’ activities.



Hubby and I met up with Lit, Jun, and Lito for a 21k run around Bonifacio Global City.  This was followed by a sumptuous breakfast at Sentro—my new favorite post-run hangout—to celebrate Lit’s birthday.

With serious training ticked off, the next day was all for the kids.



Hubby and TBR Jr. were registered for 3k, while Little Miss TBR and I were registered for 500m.  Due to the little boy’s colds, we downgraded him to 500m instead.

The atmosphere was fun and light as it is with kiddie races like this (I didn’t reach the longer distances anymore).  We even spotted the Wizard of Enchanted Kingdom who probably needed to lose some weight before he even attempted to run 500m.  With the Enchanted Kingdom jingle playing over and over in our heads, we finished the race in no time.

– Kiddos with Enchanted Kingdom Wizard behind –

– Hubby and son –

– 15k runners on the way to the finish. Those multi-colored singlets were a cool idea –

The boys ran all the way, while us girls WALKED all the way.  It turns out that my Little Miss Bull Runner enjoyed her bike experience at Mommy Milkshake last week that she prefers to bike rather than run now.  Oh boy.

– Breakfast at Pancake House with the new kiddie pop-up menu. Good thinking, Pancake! –


After breakfast, we rushed to UP Academic Oval for Secondwind’s Boys vs. Girls Challenge (next post).  I didn’t feel like running more after our long run the previous day, and I remembered our promise to run FOR the kids rather than ourselves on this day, so I chose to accompany Little Miss TBR on her grand bike out.

– Chatting with Jay (Prometheus Cometh) before the kids make their rounds –

– Kids loved it –

It was the kids’ first time here and to say that they enjoyed it would be an understatement.  My boy used his scooter while Little Miss Bull Runner with her best friend, Liney the Lion, rode the bike.  She did over five rounds.  At the last lap, she asked me:  Can we go here again tomorrow?  And the next day?  And the day after that?

Seeing the smile on her face told me that the decision to scrap one day of running for the little ones was well worth it.

– She’s lovin’ the bike more than the run. I’m not complaining! –